From the Personal Representative (January, 2014)

posted May 30, 2015, 3:33 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 30, 2015, 3:33 PM ]
Well, another year has ended, a new corps of officers is soon to be installed, and it is time to look ahead to another wonderful year in the Valley of San Jose. There were many accomplishments this past year and I am so proud of all we have achieved.
Let me first start this article by congratulating Most Worshipful and Illustrious Frank Loui on his selection as “Sovereign Grand Inspector General” for California; the honor bestowed upon him at the Annual Sessions of Supreme Council last fall.  Frank, the Valley of San Jose pledges our continued support for your success as SGIG. Congratulations!
Also from Supreme Council, I am pleased to again congratulate Ill Dick Meyers and Ill Herschel Amos, both elevated to the rank of Inspector General Honorary or 33rd Degree. There were only 25 men in all of California who received the honor. As well, congratulations are again sent to Brothers Alan Spalding, Gerry Best and Del Bleiler who were bestowed the rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour or KCCH. Well done to all! 
Our Installation is just around the corner (Tuesday, Jan. 28th) and I thank and congratulate all the officers for taking leadership roles within our Valley. Last Installation was disappointing in how few of our members were in attendance. I hope this year, many more of you will attend. It is our annual celebration of the new corps of officers and the time to celebrate the New Year. 
Over the last couple of years, our Valley has taken steps to grow in membership and in holding events that are meaningful for the Valley and its members. If you have not been to a Scottish Rite event for a while, I ask that you come see what is taking place. I think you will be pleased.
I am pleased with what has already been scheduled for this year and I look forward to new suggestions from our leadership team. This year for example, we will hold our 4th Annual Grand Master recognition “Festive Board” where we will honor our Grand Master, his lady and his special project. We look forward to having Most Worshipful John L. Cooper III and Lady Heather join with us for a great evening. We will again hold two “Nights of Instruction” banquets chaired by Bro. Chuck Cowden. Bro. Richard Fisher is again chairing our Scholarship Committee, as we will honor another graduating senior on their way to college. In December this next year, we will again honor the Masters of our lodges as they complete their term sitting in the East of their particular lodge. We exist only because our Craft Lodges are strong and we wish to honor the men who have held our lodges together.
We will continue some traditional events like our Maundy Thursday Celebration, Sweethearts Night, as well as 25 year and 50 year membership celebrations. And naturally, we will hold our Semi-Annual Reunions for new members this Spring and Fall. I am particularly pleased on our progression of adding new degree teams for our Reunions. Besides the five mandatory degrees, we have added six additional degrees (9th, 10th, 12th, 19th, 22nd, 29th), and this year we are adding at least two more. Now, we only need more candidates to witness the beautiful work being performed by our degree teams. This past year, we brought in only a dozen new members. This year will hopefully be better.
There are 25 lodges that make up our Valley’s geographic area. Now, I know that every one of you know at least one member of your lodge that is not a member of the Scottish Rite. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we had a candidate from every one of those 25 lodges that make up our Valley? Do I dare hope for two? You can help our Valley grow. Don’t be afraid to expound on the great work of our Valley and invite that one member of your lodge to join with us.
The Masters of our four bodies have promised an exciting year, including a few social events to be sprinkled throughout the year. Just as an example, I am pleased to announce that our Grand Commander, Ill Ronald Seale has accepted our invitation to join with us on June 10th. He is a great speaker and a wonderful voice for all of Scottish Rite Masonry. Please come out and meet our Grand Commander. Thanks to Bro. Gregg Hall for making it happen. Also scheduled is a one week trip to New Orleans for late September. Bro. Randy Downey has put together a great week of activities including a meeting with our Brothers from the Valley of New Orleans who will treat us to some good food and fellowship as well as exemplifying their Scottish Rite version of the First Degree. While the men are in Scottish Rite, the ladies will be hosted to their own activity. Don’t miss out on this wonderful adventure to the South. Seats are limited for the trip, so get your registration in early. Thanks Randy for all your efforts. So watch for the latest edition of “The Rite Word”. Find something that intrigues you and come out and see what is happening in YOUR Valley.
Our Foundation is still very strong, but we can always use a new contribution here or there to continue our work. Our clinic continues to do amazing things with our kids and I am very proud of what is being accomplished. For the past couple of years we have also made sizable contributions to the Grand Master’s project (Raising a Reader), Masons 4 Mitts, recognition of our DeMolay leadership at their Annual Conclave as well as our Scholarship program to which I have previously spoken.
The last item I would like to speak to is communication. I can only know if we are heading in the right direction if I hear from you. As I stated earlier, I was disappointed in the attendance at our last Installation. I would think it would naturally be one of the larger events of the year. Please give me your thoughts about where we are headed, or what we might not be providing that you would like to see, regarding our Valley? What would excite you to return to an active role? Our Valley is here to support you, but I need to know your thoughts and desires. Please contact me when you think we are failing, but most importantly communicate. You are a valued member and we value your input. The Valley is only successful if you think we have done right. Let us know!
I look forward to seeing each of you over this coming year. Come on out and help make a difference!

Ken Nagel
Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California